23 Aug Mon, 21st Week in Ordinary Time

8/22/2021 6:22:29 PM
1 Thess. 1:1-5,8-10 / Ps. 149:1-2,3-4,5-6,9 / Mt. 23:13-22 (Ps Wk I)

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First Thessalonians was a letter St Paul wrote to the Christians in Thessalonica, (modern-day Thessaloniki, Greece). He had shared the good news with them during his Second Missionary Journey (Acts 17). He now writes to strengthen them as young believers (2-3 years old) who were being persecuted for their faith. He tells them that "we" (Silvanus, Timothy and himself) "constantly remember ... how you have shown your faith in action, worked for love and persevered through hope, in our Lord Jesus Christ" (v 3).

How do we put our faith in action and work for love? Over centuries, Christians have been doing that through reaching out to the poor and needy, the sick, the dying, the grieving, the abandoned, the elderly, the orphans, the abused and the rejected. Even as we witness all these, we are challenged by those before us to constantly put our faith in action and work for love in our time and day.

What happens when Christians are persecuted as the Thessalonians were? We can follow their example of persevering through hope in the Lord.St Paul says of the Thessalonians that "when you converted to God ... you broke with idolatry ... and became servants of the real, living God" (v 9). After our conversion, are there still idols in our lives that prevent us from serving the "real, living God" wholeheartedly?

Lord, help us listen to Your voice, follow You, and be credible witnesses of Your Good News.   

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8月23日 ( 一 ) 常年期第二十一週

得撒洛尼前書 1:1-5,8-10
聖詠 149:1-2,3-4,5-6,9
瑪竇福音 23:13-22

耶穌指摘經師和法利塞人「禍哉」,使我們得知其禍哉的因由,也可充作我們自己的鑒戒。其禍哉是:(一)阻礙渴望進入天國的人。(二)欺凌弱小,以祈禱作掩飾。(三)使「皈依者」成為跟他們一樣壞的地獄之子;當時的法利塞人使很多。

皈依猶太教的外方人成為他們死守法律的一員。(四)耶穌指責他們是瞎眼的嚮導。耶穌的指責與保祿給得撒洛尼教會的教導形成鮮明對比。在書信中,保祿稱得城的基督徒是天主所愛的弟兄。他們蒙召選是因為保祿及其門徒所作的見證,正如保祿所言:「我們把福音傳到你們那裏,不僅在乎言語,而且也在乎德能和聖神,以及堅固的信心」。因此,基督徒的蒙召離不開宗徒的見證,更離不開他們的祈禱和鼓勵。他們的嘉言懿行成為我們皈依耶穌的亮光,耶穌也希望我們如同他們一樣,成為別人皈依的見證者。

主,求祢教我們謙抑自下,用言行一致的教導去成為他人認識祢的一道光,讓信仰祢的人找到堅固的信心和希望。

(theology.org.hk)
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